Insignia NS-HDTUNE: Very Bad Sound - diyAudio
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Old 9th September 2011, 04:21 AM   #1
paulfx is offline paulfx  United States
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Thumbs down Insignia NS-HDTUNE: Very Bad Sound

I bought a used Insignia NS-HDTUNE tuner late last year intending to use the digital output into an Adcom GDA700. The sound was so bad I couldn't believe my ears, so I put it aside until now. I listened again, and now I believe: This is the worst sounding digital source I have ever heard. It sounds sour and utterly without life. Take an IPhone, put it on speaker and wrap it in tissue paper along with a microphone, then take the output of that and this would sound worse. It sounds slightly less worse from the high level outputs direct to the control box. There is FM interstation noise when tuning even through the D-to-A, which tells me this tuner may have some kind of crummy A-to-D converter added to the chain for the digital output. I must tell you all that I am marveling at how poor the sound is and how apparently little sound quality matters to the public. Never mind the lousy sensitivity, if a group of people were stuck in an elevator with this sound pollution they would be more likely to kill and eat each other.

Maybe HD FM is different enough so you can't "keep it digital" to a downstream D-to-A like I tried to do. I was probably hearing song file, D-to-A, compression, A-to-HD, broadcast, cheapo receive, HD-to-A on a chip, crummy A-to-D, then my D-to-A.

I'm going to give the NS-HDTUNE away or throw it in the trash, but is there a tuner or board available that has quality sound, especially in HD? We have two HD jazz stations in our area and they sound very good on my wife's car system. (The classical station won't touch HD) I don't need digital out, if all that does is add another conversion layer. Don't need high sensitivity either, got a big yagi and the jazz stations are 50KW. Maybe I could mount the quality FM board in the Insignia case?
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Old 10th September 2011, 04:07 AM   #2
paulfx is offline paulfx  United States
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Looking around, Tuner Information Center - Vintage Stereo Tuners is tuners in depth, so I'll look around there. In a noisy car is one thing, but all HD FM I've heard sounds like loss. Maybe I'll check out a great-sounding classic tuner from the 80's that can still filter out the jagged HD sidebands.
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Old 10th September 2011, 04:51 AM   #3
paulfx is offline paulfx  United States
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Talking to myself and using links for original thought, but here is a good discussion on HD radio versus Stereo FM versus the wayback mono FM:

Does HD radio sound better than analog? - AVS Forum

The discussion includes my antenna guru Brian Beezley as K6STI. I'm still tossing this latest tuner on the pile with the other two. I think I'll wait until I finish building one of Brian's antenna designs and then check out his favorite tuners.
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Old 11th September 2011, 11:40 PM   #4
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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The guys at TIC will steer you right. IMHO HD is not worth the trouble outside of the car.. Good analog FM handily clobbers the best HD has to offer. I think what you want is a good vintage analog or digital FM tuner sans HD support, but known to work well with analog broadcast signals in the presence of HD carriers..
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Old 6th January 2014, 03:44 AM   #5
paulfx is offline paulfx  United States
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Update: Loving my freshly aligned and rebuilt Mitsubishi DA-F20!
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